Friday, October 23, 2009

Lovely Lugano

I meant to include this post a couple weeks ago, but time slipped away from me, and here I am trying to play catch up. I figure it's a great time to put up a new post of previous events, because the travel plans we had planned for the upcoming weekend came to a screeching halt this evening when Ella started throwing up all over the house. The stomach flu is no fun for a toddler- she had no idea what was happening to her, and was completely freaked out. We spent the night being cozy, watching movies, as will go the rest of our weekend. So, I leave you with Lugano, a trip when we were all happy and healthy!

Lugano is a little town in southern Switzerland- surrounded by the Alps, and is considered one of the Italian villages in Switzerland. I think the main language spoken there is Italian, with maybe a little German, and a teeny bit of English. It sits on Lake Lugano looking out to mountains jetting up from the lake – stunning. The weather was great for the trip, so the lake was glistening from the sun, and there were plenty of people out on their sailboats enjoying their day. We had been wanting to explore Lugano and used the Autumn Festival as an excuse to go. 

The train ride was a little under three hours, and put us right on the top of Lugano. We wandered down the small city streets, under the archways and the flower pots in the windows to find the street fair. We were expecting pumpkins, apples, cider and such things that come with fall. What we found was the equivalent to a Portland Saturday market. The food stands were great- tons of Swiss cheese, polenta, meat, some beer and wine, pastries, etc. But no apples, no pumpkins, no cider, just a huge crowd of people meandering through small streets searching for their treasures.
We strolled through the streets, Ella danced to the local bands, and then we opted for some lunch. We found a tent that looked promising, ordered some salami and gnocchi that was not all we had hoped for. After our less than desirable lunch we decided to walk along the lake for a few hours and enjoy the gorgeous weather- AWAY from the mass crowds of people. 

For an early dinner, we again tried to sit, order some polenta and some crepes and ran into road blocks. So we opted for some fresh cheese being sold from a small set man in a little tent with three types of cheeses. He cut them by hand, weighed them and packaged it for you. I anxiously waited my turn (I love cheese!) and then politely asked him if he spoke English- nope. So we both tried to make this work – he gestured towards a rind of cheese asking if I wanted to try it, Yes please! Then he pointed to the sky, then to the cheese, then to the sky – hmmmm- so I mimicked him and said ‘ok, si!’ and he laughed at me. I have no idea what he was trying to tell me, but I got to try my cheese, and it was perfect- as expected. 

It tasted like a very fresh, sharp, melt in your mouth, goat cheese. So we bought plenty and ate it with some bread on the train ride home. The cheese was a perfect Swiss end to our little Swiss trip.

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